Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation listens as Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks during a press conference in Fort McMurray, Alta. on Friday May 30, 2014. Adam says ongoing concerns about coerced sterilization of Indigenous women is nothing short of a “crisis” and he wants to see a public inquiry into the allegations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

A First Nation chief wants an independent investigation into an alleged RCMP assault during an arrest that he says began over expired vehicle registration tags and ended with him facing charges of resisting arrest and assaulting police.

“Because we are minority… nobody speaks up for us,” Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam said during a press conference Saturday.

“Every time our people do wrong… (the RCMP) always seem to use excessive force and that has to stop … Enough is enough.”

Adam said he was leaving a casino after 2 a.m. on March 10 with his wife and niece. The group went to his truck, which had recently expired license plate tags, at the Peter Pond Mall in downtown Fort McMurray, Alta., when officers confronted the group.

The RCMP prevented the group from driving away and manhandled his wife, Adam said. The police called for backup and more officers arrived on the scene, he said.

One of the officers who arrived “he just gave me a, what you would call in the wrestling world, a clothesline,” he said.

During the altercation, Adam said he suffered a deep laceration inside his mouth and he could feel blood pouring out. He fought to maintain consciousness, he said, and felt someone hitting him on the back.

Adam was taken into police custody and held until about 9:30 a.m., said his lawyer Brian Beresh.

Adam was charged with resisting arrest of the criminal code and assault police in execution of duty of the criminal code, said Alberta RCMP in a statement Saturday. He will appear in Wood Buffalo Provincial court on July 2.

Wood Buffalo RCMP initiated a vehicle stop on an unoccupied and idling vehicle with an expired plate, according to the statement, and a confrontation with Adam resulted.

“During the incident, Adam was being placed under arrest and resisted. The members were required to use force to affect the arrest,” the statement said.

An in-car video system captured the incident and it was reviewed by supervisors.

“It was determined that the members’ actions were reasonable and did not meet the threshold for an external investigation.”

The RCMP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A photo Adam took the day after the arrest shows him with a large bruise around his right eye and dried blood on his cheek. Adam and Beresh released two videos taken by bystanders of the incident.

A 41-second video shows RCMP asking Adam’s wife, who was in the driver’s seat, to exit the truck because she is under arrest. She can be seen stepping out of the vehicle and asking why.

On a roughly three-minute video Adam can be heard identifying himself and telling police he is bleeding.

“What did you do to me? I’m bleeding man,” he says in the video, and asks why they did this to him.

Adam can be heard yelling expletives during the altercation.

Both videos are dark due to the time, Beresh said at the press conference, noting the RCMP have better-quality recordings, which he has seen but is not permitted to release.

He called for the RCMP to release their recordings “so that the truth is known.”

Additionally, he called for a full investigation by an independent police force and for all police to wear body cam equipment when working outside of the station.

Beresh said the videos show Adam did not assault an officer or resist arrest, but made the mistake of asking why he was being arrested.

“He was challenging the authority, he was challenging the uniform and that can’t be permitted in the militaristic-type organization like the RCMP.”

Athabasca Chipewayan Chief Allan Adam is shown in a handout photo. The chief of a northern Alberta First Nation is calling for the government to investigate after he alleges RCMP assaulted him during an arrest that he says began over a simple matter of expired registration tags on his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Allan Adam MANDATORY CREDIT

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Indigenous

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rideshare expands into Aldergrove

As of Thursday, Lyft is now offering service throughout Metro Vancouver

Conservationists in race against time to rehabilitate grizzly cubs transferred to Aldergrove zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

Pink flags on Langley church grounds raise awareness about sex-selective abortion

On Saturday, 1,000 pink flags will be placed on the lawn of Christ Covenant Church

Painful Truth: UBI fends off fear of poverty

Dignified work isn’t always available

Langley author pens Somebody’s Story

Bryan Bellec’s debut coming-of-age novel was inspired by upbringing in Fraser Valley

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Police nab three impaired drivers in one night in Maple Ridge

Ridge Meadows RCMP served 80 impaired driving infractions in June

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father

Police issued the alert for Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy Carpentier, 6, from Levis, Que.

Limit police access to lethal weapons in Indigenous communities: Justice Summit

Grassroots-organized National Indigenous Justice Summit was a free-to-attend two-day videoconference

Most Read